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Uncanny Valley
Published on Wednesday, 07 April 2010

The uncanny valley, some psychologists say, is an abyss inside our minds: a place where the cute flips over to be freaky.  And it’s in that mental valley that you’ll find local musicians Spacedog, whose deliciously creepy electronic tunes will be weirding out Brighton once again this May.

Uncanny Valley

At first glance, sisters Sarah and Jenny Angliss seem unlikely musical Frankensteins; but that all changes when you see the stage-full of apparatus their show brings out to play.  This year’s star is Clara 2.0, a thrillingly sinister robotic toy, whose tiny animated hands will somehow be working the theremin.

And if that’s just not unconventional enough for you, they’ll be joined by Professor Elemental – a gentleman rapper with a sideline in taxidermy, and a rather-too-lifelike ventriloquist’s doll.  The Professor has to be seen to be believed: his pith-helmeted ode to tea has become a YouTube sensation, though we've heard he’ll be in a darker mood for this particular show.

When we first discovered Spacedog last year, we found them “haunting”, “genuinely moving” and “fascinating to watch”.  Their work’s heavy on samples and nerve-jangling clashes, with childlike innocence often hiding a distinctly chillier side.  So if you’re up for something different and enjoy a shiver down your spine, this new collaboration has to be worth a try; be warned though, it’s on for one night only.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.